Morning fellow troopers,
Yesterday’s game was a great game of football. We played very well throughout the game and look assured with our play. Bolton had a new manager in Owen Coyle, but their style was the same as before his arrival, with Bolton severely dirty. I do like Owen Coyle and his philosophy of good football – it’s got him to where he is now, and he’s done tremendously well with Burnley. Bolton have historically been known for their over physical style and whether or not Coyle has had time to imprint his style, the players at the club have the nature in their persona.
Cesc returned to the starting line up yesterday and it was a welcomed return. Arsene continued his policy of blooding the youth and gave Craig Eastmond a start in the holding midfield position. Rosicky was also restored to the line up in the absence of Nasri – whom Arsene has confirmed has a hamstring injury and will be out for three weeks.
Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Traore
Eastmond – Diaby
Rosicky – Cesc – Arshavin
The game itself showed us a few things – one, that Traore is not ready for the Premier League. The left back has had a lot of playing time with the absences of both Clichy and Gibbs but he has been getting worse and worse with every game. Albeit he didn’t have too much protection, but he makes so many mistakes, it doesn’t bode well. With Clichy and Gibbs both returning – well, Clichy did return today – Traore may be on the way out this summer. His loan to Portsmouth is testimony to the judgement that Arsene had that perhaps he wouldn’t make it – the return of Clichy never more welcomed than right now.
Point two, we have a very good little player in Craig Eastmond – he played roughly an hour and did well, breaking up play, being positionally apt and he also nearly scored his first goal of the season on his debut. Point three, I may be wrong about Fran Merida – he didn’t look too bad today and the control and the finish for his goal was superb.
Cesc got onto the scoresheet again and that’s his 13th of the season. He was all over the pitch and his dribbling, passing and quick thought were an example of why he is probably the league’s best player at the moment. Arsene spoke of the captain after the game and said this:
“If you watch the game today it is difficult to say how much but you don’t have to explain that it is important. I have not seen all the games but what is very interesting for us is that Cesc gets stronger and stronger and has more personality on the pitch, like the whole team. He will be 23 this year so he is just starting.”
Hopefully, Cesc will stay fit after this game, as he is very important to us and of course, we’ve now suddenly got 4 midfielders out in Ramsey, Nasri, Denilson and Song.
“In the last 48 hours we lost Aaron Ramsey and Samir Nasri to injuries and we now go into a period where every game becomes very, very important. For us it is important not to lose any more players and especially Fabregas because he is just coming back now. We survived okay when he wasn’t there but in the period coming up now where we have so many big games it is important to have him.”
It’s strange when you look at the scoring charts to think Fabregas has scored 13 goals, having missed so many games – he could get 20 by the end of the season. He says it’s all down to luck, but personally I think it’s down to the learning curve he’s going through.
“Maybe scoring more goals is just luck because when I was younger I had so many opportunities and they weren’t going in. But this year they are and it’s important that they keep coming. I have been training for a few years in front of goal and I feel stronger and that helps in the last yards.”
There were some unsavoury incidents in the game – with certain Bolton players going above and beyond reasonable commitment. There was a certain incident when a Bolton player kicked Cesc on the ground after he was fouled and then went on to pull his hair. I really hope video evidence means the player gets punished, because it’s uncalled for and misrepresents the nature of the game.
Let’s see what happens in the morning’s papers… Til then.